March 21, 2019 - Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest - Ludwig 30 – Always Contemporary!
March 21, 2019

Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest

© Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art.

Ludwig 30 – Always Contemporary!
The museum's 30th anniversary

Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest
Komor Marcell u. 1

T +36 1 555 3444
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“The founders’ agreement establishing the museum based on the donations of Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig was signed thirty years ago at the Hungarian National Gallery. No one suspected that the socialist regime would collapse half a year later, leading to the shattering of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain that had separated the East from the West. At any rate, the enhancement of the Hungarian museum scene with a collection that had merely been accessible sporadically at temporary exhibitions was a fundamental turn. The founding of the museum was a milestone in Hungarian as well as international art life."
–Dr. Julia Fabényi, Director of Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art


Founded in 1989, in 30 years, Ludwig Museum has accommodated 330 temporary exhibitions and more than 5000 programs. With its representative Central and Eastern European collection and its scientific achievements in media preservation over recent years, it has become an influential museum in the region. Pieces from its collection are regularly loaned for prominent exhibitions across the globe, and in recent years, its temporary exhibitions representing the region’s contemporary art have elicited considerable attention: the art of former Yugoslavia, art from Albania and Kosovo, and most recently, contemporary Ukrainian art, acknowledged by GFAA’s 2018 You-2 Award.

The contract founding Ludwig Museum Budapest was signed on the March 21, 1989, by art collectors Peter and Irene Ludwig and representatives of the Ministry of Culture and the Hungarian National Gallery. The couple ranks among the most influential art collectors of the post-war period, and rightly so. Their collection encompasses almost all of art history, and their donations, loans and foundations have pursued an independent cultural policy: developing institutions, establishing new museums, and mediating between the United States and Europe as well as post-war “West” and “East.” More than ten museums bear the name Ludwig worldwide—one of these being Ludwig Museum Budapest.

The core collection comprises 70 artworks donated to Hungary by Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig, including works by Joseph Beuys, Richard Hamilton, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Joe Tilson, Jean Tinguely, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann. The museum collects art from the 1960s through the present, and in addition to acquiring artworks of art-historical significance, uniquely in the region, the institution systematically collects the art of post-socialist countries, with special regard to the post-socialist period. Through the works of artists from Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia, Poland, Romania and former Yugoslavia, the art of a region with a peculiar historical and cultural background receives great emphasis. Part of the collection is on view at the occasionally rearranged permanent exhibition, and the entire collection is accessible online.

Ludwig Museum considers it a priority to always present new aspects of its collection, and to provide a panorama of current trends in contemporary art while representing the most prominent artists from the international and local scenes at its temporary exhibitions. The seven-eight temporary exhibitions each year aim the research-based art-historical treatment of recent art and the introduction of the latest productions of contemporary art, with special regard to Central and Eastern Europe.

As a regionally unparalleled endeavour, the museum has developed a practical research program for the examination of film- video- and computer-based art, regarding which it has organized three international conferences thus far.

The Venice Biennale Office operates as a separate department within the institution, managing the Hungarian participation at the art and architecture exhibitions of the Biennale.

Annual exhibition program

Hungarian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

T +36 1 555 3444
info [​at​]

Press contact
Gabriella Rothman, rothman.gabriella [​at​]

Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest
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